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Health expo set for International Park

By Joel Hall

jhall@news-daily.com

Clayton County's Department of Senior Services is sponsoring two health-and-wellness expositions this month, aimed at preventing chronic diseases before they occur.

The county will host its first SPARC (Sickness Prevention Achieved through Regional Collaboration) event today, from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., at Clayton County International Park's VIP Complex, located at 2300 Ga. Highway 138, in Jonesboro.

According to Clayton County Public Relations Officer Jamie Carlington, the event is a partnership between the county, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), and several health organizations. She said the free event will include blood-pressure screenings, mental-health evaluations, foot assessments and presentations on developing a healthier lifestyle.

"Other counties have participated in this program," Carlington said. "They are trying to show to the federal government that there is a great need to have programs like this. Even though this is geared toward senior citizens, this is for all citizens aged 18 or over. We're hoping that the public will gain a great amount of self-awareness of what they can do to attend to their own wellness."

According to Carlington, health-care professionals will be on hand to provide flu and pneumonia immunizations (for a nominal fee) and representatives from the Spivey Station Surgery Center, in Jonesboro, will be on hand to schedule mammograms. There will also be giveaways and door prizes, and fruits and vegetables will be given to the first 150 people to complete a blood-pressure, mental-health, and foot screening, she said.

Partners for the event include Pfizer, Inc., Maxim Health Systems, Clayton State University, the Clayton County Board of Health, the Diabetes Association of Atlanta, the Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS), CVS/pharmacy, and AARP, Carlington said.

On Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m., to 2 p.m., the county will host a second SPARC event at the Frank Bailey Senior Center, located at 6213 Riverdale Road in Riverdale. The same services provided at today's event will be provided at the Frank Bailey Senior Center at the end of the month, according to Carlington.

"We would like to see a great turnout by the community," Carlington said. "A lot of times, exercise and a healthy diet can ward off a lot of chronic diseases."

Flu and pneumonia immunizations will be available for between $20 and $25, and are covered by Medicaid and Medicare. For more information, call (770) 477-3211.